CSArch joined the Newburgh Free Library on Thursday, April 27 to celebrate and unveil Phase 1 of a long-term effort to reimagine and revitalize the public library as a community anchor for the City of Newburgh.
Sparked by a desire to better reflect the social evolution of 21st century libraries as collaborative, technology-driven, and flexible environments, the project began with a master planning process that focused on enhancing visibility, natural light, cutting-edge technology, and connections to the surrounding community. Phase 1 of the project, completed in January 2023, constructed two new spaces that honor both the past and future of the library and City of Newburgh.
Inspired by the rich sense of community, heritage, and culture within the Hudson Valley, Phase 1 focused on creating a visible, welcoming space that celebrates the history of the City of Newburgh. A new, 850 SF Local History Resource Center was constructed on the second floor to house local artifacts and rotating collections that define Newburgh’s history. Featuring a full height glazed partition, touch screen display, open shelving and file storage for artifacts and documents, the new Local History Resource Center offers an enlarged, modernized space to browse, review, and research.
Constructed next to the Local History Resource Center as part of Phase 1 is the new, 620 SF Tech Hub. The design empowers individuals to learn through technology by offering access to coding classes, IT training, podcasting, and workforce development opportunities in a collaborative and flexible environment. While the space provides flexible group tables, increased power supply, and access to technology for today’s uses, adaptability was an important consideration to ensure future programming and educational opportunities will be supported.
“Our work is to educate and promote information and digital literacy,” said Mary Lou Carolan, Executive Director of Newburgh Free Library. “Opening doors to critical thinking creates a knowledgeable and productive citizenry. We honor our past and our stories through our new Local History Resource Center, and we prepare for our future with our new Technology Hub.”
The remaining project phases will focus on renovations to staff offices, youth and community rooms, small group learning spaces, library collections, and open reading areas to provide a transformative, inspiring, and flexible facility that connects the City of Newburgh to the library’s full range of offerings.